Z is for Zygodactyl

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Today is the 26th and last day of the A-Z Photographic Glossary of Biological Terms challenge, so to finish the challenge it’s Z for Zygodactyl, as illustrated by this Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus),the National Bird of Belize, photographed by the Caves Branch River in Cayo District.

Zygodactyl (from Greek ζυγος, “even”) is an arrangement of digits in certain bird species and chameleons, with two toes facing forward (digits 2 and 3) and two toes facing back (digits 1 and 4). This arrangement is most common in arboreal bird species, particularly those that climb tree trunks or clamber through foliage, in particular parrots, woodpeckers, cuckoos, and some owls.

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